[jhb_airlines] Re: Where Can I Go Next?

  • From: "Bones" <bones@xxxxxxx>
  • To: <jhb_airlines@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 8 Aug 2006 19:10:43 +0100

It's an interesting development for Matrox because their Parhelia video card
has triple output (and the G500 I had before it was dual output). Sadly I
don't have room for a second (or third) monitor so this function has never
been tested out. If more than one monitor is present you have the options of
Independent View, Clone View or Stretch View - which just about covers
everything you might need for FS work.

For us space restricted users the TrackIR is the better option - just one
big monitor and a funny hat and off you go. I say big monitor because wider
screens require more head movement edge to edge and that is better for the
performance of the sensors. For those with room for more than one monitor
the Triple Head box is possibly the stronger contender. Operation needs no
learning curve or silly hat.

My only reservation with the multi monitor setup is that, spatially, your
head is still locked to the sim - in other words your viewpoint is locked to
the aircraft's orientation. When you bank the aircraft I therefore presume
that the horizon tilts across all monitors. That's not a problem - but what
if you look left and right? Again, without having any experience on multi
monitor sets, my assumption is that if you turn left and then look out to
the left you will be staring down at the ground - and looking right will
just give you a nice view of the sky. To see the horizon in each case would
you still have to resort to panning up or down? With TrackIR you would only
need to tilt your head slightly.

Of course I have to say that really flash users would buy both. A three
monitor setup with TrackIR would be really the bee's knees.

bones

-----Original Message-----
From: jhb_airlines-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:jhb_airlines-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Gerry Winskill
Sent: 08 August 2006 17:09
To: jhb_airlines@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [jhb_airlines] Re: Where Can I Go Next?


The review of the three screen device is at
http://www.flightsim.com/cgi/kds?$=main/review/th2go.htm

If I could find space for an extra LCD, I'd be seriously interested,
when the house painter is distracting SWMBO.

Gerry Winskill


Gerry Winskill wrote:

> I remember reading the review of this uprated version, some time ago,
> but couldn't recall why its apparent attractions didn't persuade me to
> try it. And it wasn't because I read somewhere of a simmer who
> answered the door to a neighbour, forgetting first to remember to
> remove the sensor from his forehead!
>
> When you got to the bit about VC I remembered that 'twas VC that, for
> me, ruled it out. In turn that's because I use the panel, displaced to
> a lower monitor. A move to that configuration was prompted by my
> wishing to be able to devote a full screen to the outside, VFR GM, view.
>
> The tracker, otherwise, sounds a good way to go. Another is the device
> that was reviewd a few weeks ago, that allows the forward and side
> views to be displayed on three screens, without having to resort to
> Rory's multi PC setup; haven't heard of Rory in yonks. Tom can
> probably come up with more details of that one.
>
> Even the panel displaced to a lower monitor has benefits related to
> real life. When I went up at Ronaldsway I discovered that SWMBO had
> told the instructor of my FS interest. As we got in, he mentioned
> this. Opening his flight bag he said "I always like to do this with
> people who use FS" and promptly covered the AI with a sticker. I got
> the point, that we can be expected to spend too much time looking in,
> at the panel. In fact I don't have that problem, since the natural
> tendency is to look at the view, looking at the lower panel only to
> check all is as it should be, down there.
>
> For those who like VC the sensor unit seems very attractive, in its
> evolved state. How has your SWMBO reacted to you adopting the teenage
> craze for wearing a baseball cap in the house?
>
> Gerry Winskill
>
> Bones wrote:
>
>> Not sure if this would help you but I've just had a lot of fun with
>> FS2004 -
>> more than I've had for a long time.
>>
>> I ordered a TrackIR 4 Pro the other day and it arrived yesterday. The
>> box I
>> unpacked was tiny - all it contains is a small sensor which sits on
>> top of
>> your monitor, a USB lead, a CD and an odd shaped bit of wire. The
>> sensor is
>> only about 2" square and it plugs into a powered USB hub. The funny
>> bit of
>> wire has three small reflectors on it and clips to a headset or
>> baseball hat
>> (the latter being the better option). Software installation was a
>> doddle.
>>
>> On running the setup you get two headshots on screen. One shows
>> actual head
>> movement and the other the accelerated head movement. This can be
>> tweaked to
>> your own taste although five presets are there to start you off.
>>
>> The sensor picks up six movements. Yaw, pitch and roll are obvious
>> but up/down, left/right and in/out are also available. Each can be
>> adjusted individually. On my setup I've adjusted yaw so that turning
>> the head slightly pans the view at a slowish pace but further head
>> turning gives an accelerated pan. In effect I only have to turn about
>> 30 degrees (I can still
>> look at the LCD screen without feeling I am peering out the corner of
>> my eye
>> at it) and the accelerated movement is almost a full 180 degrees..
>>
>> So how does this operate in FS2004? The first thing is that you don't
>> need
>> to adjust anything in the sim as it autodetects the IR sensor. Just
>> start FS
>> as normal and put your headset or hat on. I tried both options and
>> found the
>> baseball hat is better. It works clipped to a headset band too but
>> pitch is
>> limited upwards as your head blocks the view between the reflectors
>> and the
>> sensor. In fact I can't wear a baseball hat (head gets too hot) so
>> I've got
>> one of those visor only things and this is fine.
>>
>> After you start FS you find TrackIR 4 Pro only works in VC mode. For
>> those
>> of you who know your cfg file values quite well it appears to take
>> over the
>> Eyesight setting in the cfg file and dynamically read new values into
>> the
>> sim - I guess similar to the way ActiveCamera works.
>>
>> My first test was very disappointing. It worked as advertised but
>> with a lot
>> of lag and jerky action. The cure was found by turning off my Av
>> software
>> (firewall seems OK though) after which movement was silky smooth. At
>> this
>> point I realised one of the greatest faults of FS was instantly cured
>> as I
>> could look instantly in any direction I wanted. No need to pan or use
>> the
>> views keys any more - just one glance was needed to look down at the
>> dials
>> or out of the left or right cockpit windows.
>>
>> Firing up the C172 for a quick circuit showed just how useful this
>> gadget
>> was. Instead of keeping my head locked in space and moving the
>> information
>> on the screen to come into my view I was back doing what comes
>> naturally and
>> - for the first time ever in FS - moving my head! Taxying was the first
>> revelation. No need to fiddle with panning to see a turn coming up -
>> all I
>> needed was  a momentary look left and I had a perfect visual picture
>> as to
>> what was happening. In a turn I naturally looked into the direction
>> of turn
>> and this allowed far more appreciation of my rate of turn and whether it
>> needed tightening up or easing off. Turn right round on a taxiway
>> without
>> going off the edge? A real doddle.
>>
>> Once I was lined up I glanced around the cockpit at all the dials and
>> then
>> looked forward again for take off. A second later it struck me that I
>> had
>> literally done just that - just as you would in a real aircraft. I'd
>> actually turned and leant forward to look at some dials totally
>> automatically, cockpit panning completely forgotten. Take off was
>> normal - I
>> guess - but I can no longer be sure. You see, the problem is that
>> ingrained
>> habits from real flying are coming back and are so natural that I
>> don't know
>> I am doing them. Did I lean slightly left on take off to get a better
>> view
>> down the runway? I really can't be sure but I suspect I did.
>>
>> Once airborne the differences really started to show. Pilots never
>> keep their heads still and are constantly looking out for other
>> traffic. I know you can do this in FS by panning but it's too slow
>> and it becomes a rarer
>> happening than in real life. Released from the tunnel vision of FS my
>> head
>> was moving as it should - dials, look left, sweep across to right,
>> back to
>> dials, look forward. At 500ft raise wing slightly, glance left and turn.
>> Crosswind and just one glance was needed to look back at the airport to
>> confirm positional accuracy. 1000ft and turn downwind, look at
>> airport again
>> - it's so easy. No hunting around in pan view. Checks completed.
>> Continue
>> downwind until 45 degrees from the threshold and turn base, power
>> back and
>> hold height to bleed off the speed. Flaps down 20, let the nose fall and
>> trim for 75. Now look left and watch as you approach the extended runway
>> centreline and then KEEPING YOUR EYE ON THE RUNWAY, turn final. Perfect.
>> This is something that has never been possible in FS before (unless
>> you are
>> REALLY slick with the pan button) and I found that I was not only
>> looking at
>> the runway the whole time I was turning final but I was also checking
>> the
>> PAPI's and windsock.
>>
>> I confess that the landing wasn't a good one. FS habits crept back in
>> and so
>> I was mixing techniques and suffered a bounce because of this. Next time
>> round I did what I should have done and it just rolled onto the runway.
>>
>> I guess the unit shows up the differences between flying for real and
>> flying
>> in FS. Techniques have evolved for both to suit their strengths and
>> weaknesses and real pilots have had to adjust to the limitations in FS.
>> TrackIR 4 puts those limits behind and allows you to use real world
>> skills
>> much better.
>>
>> A second flight in the Tiger Moth revealed far more differences. In
>> taxying
>> I was able to lean left and right outside the cockpit to see where I was
>> going (you physically move a LOT when taxying a Tiger). Landing was made
>> with my head out of the cockpit and sideslipping right down to
>> roundout. In
>> the flare my eyes were on the ground just in front of the port
>> mainplane -
>> not the "look ahead and pray" position that FS has been limited to
>> before
>> (although I'd got very good at that). A further flight in the prototype
>> Spitfire showed that aerobatics and flying a curved approach also
>> brought
>> back real world habits because these were now possible. In a loop it was
>> completely natural to glance at the port wing when vertical (yaw
>> check) then
>> look up to see the inverted horizon come into view (the sooner you
>> see this
>> the sooner you can correct any deviation in bank or yaw).
>>
>> A final quick glance at the PMDG 747 showed me bits of the cockpit
>> I'd never
>> seen before - but I ran out of time to try this aircraft. One humorous
>> observation with the Tiger was leaning forward to look over the stick
>> to see
>> the compass - it worked too. And if you lean forward enough you can
>> make any
>> single dial fill the whole screen.
>>
>> Is it worth the money? This is a tricky question because I think it
>> comes
>> down to how much you would use six axis freedom. Real pilots look
>> around a
>> heck of a lot and this gadget frees them of the viewing limitations
>> in FS.
>> In my case I found I reverted to real world techniques almost
>> immediately.
>> FS pilots have never had this freedom nor to they have any real world
>> habits
>> to adjust to like good lookout - they never have to worry about a
>> Tornado
>> boring down on them at 600kts. What I can't guess at is whether FS
>> pilots
>> would develop any real world habits once viewing limitations are lifted.
>> Maybe it depends on how good a natural pilot you are - I just don't
>> know.
>> For those more interested in cockpit displays and button pushing I doubt
>> this kit would prove of any value at all.
>>
>> Andrew Herd recently reviewed TrackIR Pro 4 and this is what stirred
>> my interest in it.
>> http://www.flightsim.com/cgi/kds?wZ95L02q=main/review/trackir4/tracki
>> r4.htm
>>
>>
>> Andrew gave it a definite thumbs up (despite hating VC's almost as
>> much as I
>> do) - as did Bob at RC Simulations when I spoke to him. It's not
>> cheap and
>> you look a right dipstick with alien antennae sticking out of your
>> head but,
>> for me, these are minor points for a product that will change the way
>> I use
>> FS forever.
>>
>> The one major disadvantage in describing TrackIR 4 is that you can't
>> use screenshots to convey how it works. I'm not sure a video would do
>> it justice either. Words are inadequate (especially mine) so I
>> suggest the best option
>> is to find if it is being shown at one of the FS shows and give it a
>> try.
>>
>> bones
>> (currently upside down in a Spitfire about 20ft off the deck in the
>> Welsh
>> hills, looking at the rocks going by.)
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: jhb_airlines-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
>> [mailto:jhb_airlines-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Gerry
>> Winskill
>> Sent: 07 August 2006 21:10
>> To: jhb_airlines@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
>> Subject: [jhb_airlines] Re: Where Can I Go Next?
>>
>>
>> First four of the ones I don't recall visiting are now visited. Since
>> I can press the pause button, in the privacy of my own home, I can
>> get away with this project. Arthritic kneck is currently limiting me
>> to ten minute stints in front of the screeen. Doctor changed the
>> pills today but, tactfully, said he can't do anything about the
>> passage of years. Don't the Apollo crew lie on their backs, to look
>> at monitors? Can't see SWMBO letting me get away with that idea.
>>
>> Gerry Winskill
>>
>>
>> Bones wrote:
>>
>>
>>
>>> At my last count there were 316 operational airfields/strips active
>>> in the UK. About 215 of these were available in FS2002 and 225 in
>>> FS2004.
>>>
>>> bones
>>>
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: jhb_airlines-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
>>> [mailto:jhb_airlines-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of franklyn
>>> fisher
>>> Sent: 07 August 2006 16:11
>>> To: jhb_airlines@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
>>> Subject: [jhb_airlines] Re: Where Can I Go Next?
>>>
>>>
>>> Gerry
>>> My VFR Flight guide lists 223, active and inactive, major, minor and
>>> farmstrips, from A to Y. Frank
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>
>



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